Wednesday NBA Player Prop Bets & Picks: Miami’s Adebayo Highlights Top Plays on Deep Slate (Dec. 23)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Dejounte Murray
- Early holiday cheer has arrived to sports bettors with the return of the NBA.
- That also means player props are back in the mix for your wagering interest.
- Brandon Anderson gives us three value prop plays, featuring Bam Adebayo and Victor Oladipo, below.
We’re back, baby!!
With Opening Night in the books, we’re off to a quick 2-1 start with Steph Curry and LeBron James bets paying off with 3.5 assists and points to spare. The Nets and Clippers are each 1-0, while the Lakers and Warriors are tied at the bottom of the West.
Wednesday brings us 13 more games, with every other NBA team in action. For seven of these teams, it’s their first real game since March, and for many of them, there are huge unknowns on playing time and roles. For our props today, we’ll focus on the things we do know.
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the FantasyLabs NBA Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Bam Adebayo, Over 15.5 Points (-115)
|Miami Heat at Orlando Magic||Heat -4.5|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
This prop jumped off the page when I saw it, like Bam Adebayo leaping off the screen to block Jayson Tatum and save an Eastern Conference Finals game.
Bam was one of the big breakout stars in The Bubble, but don’t forget, this dude was the best player on the court in the ECF. Adebayo should be ready to take another step forward into the new season.
We watched a lot of Adebayo in the playoffs, and what we saw was a guy who got a ton of easy buckets when the defense wasn’t prepared to stop him. Orlando is a defense that’s not going to match up well with Bam.
Nik Vucevic is a star but much more comfortable defending in the post than in open space and dives. The Magic would typically be able to rely on Jonathan Isaac in help defense to limit Adabayo, but Isaac is out this year, and Orlando’s defense will suffer greatly without him.
Adebayo scored 15.9 PPG last year and increased that to 17.8 PPG in the playoffs as he took an even bigger role. We’re projecting Bam at 19.1 points tonight, giving us a sizable margin for error here. Play Bam’s over 15.5 points up to -140.
Victor Oladipo, Over 3.5 Rebounds (-142)
|New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers||Pacers -8.5|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a healthy Victor Oladipo, but hopefully that’s what we are getting to start a new season for an Indiana Pacers team that might be underrated.
Oladipo closed out the preseason with a nice 20-point effort against the 76ers and looked like himself, and he’s in a great spot to start the new season well against the Knicks.
Oladipo is a strong player who has usually rebounded well, but he fell from 5.3 RPG his first two seasons in Indiana to only 3.9 last year, which may give you pause on this prop. It shouldn’t. Oladipo wasn’t healthy, and the only real culprit for his rebounding drop off was a drop in playing time because he couldn’t establish his normal minutes load. Oladipo’s rebounding rate was down slightly but mostly in line with the rest of his career — ahead of his career rate, actually.
Rebounding is often a product of playing time as much as anything, and Oladipo should be in line for regular minutes tonight after a full offseason. We’re projecting him at 32.8 minutes and 5.2 rebounds, which makes this worth playing even with the juice. I’ll play to -160 and would also play if the line jumps to 4 rebounds before tip off.
Dejounte Murray, Over 5.5 Rebounds (-115)
|San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies||Grizzlies -2.5|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Tonight looks like a good spot to go in on Dejounte Murray with his teammate Derrick White out. White made big news this week with a huge 4-year, $73-million rookie extension, but he is sidelined indefinitely with a toe injury, and that should mean more minutes and shine for Murray, who already got his extension last year.
Murray is long and tenacious and plays more like a wing than a guard. He’s a filthy defender and an excellent rebounder for his position. Dejounte averaged 5.8 rebounds per game last season and did that in only 25.6 minutes. Since settling in after an unpredictable rookie season, Murray is averaging a robust 8.8 rebounds per 36 minutes over his last two campaigns.
We’re projecting Murray at 32.4 minutes tonight, soaking up a little extra playing time with White sidelined. And remember, Murray averaged more rebounds than this prop already last year, even in limited minutes! He also averaged 7.3 RPG in 25.7 MPG this preseason.
This line is a full rebound below where it should be, and I’d still like it even there. Make the over 5.5 rebounds at near even odds your top play of the night, and play this up to -150 or even at over 6 or 6.5 if needed. This one rates a 10 out of 10 in our Props tool.